"Dear Jennifer, Did You REALLY Do All This Stuff With Your SOI?"

Education & Training with Sell with Soul


The other day an agent who is going thru my Savvy Prospector, Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life program emailed me to ask "Jennifer, did you really DO all this stuff when you were selling real estate?"

He asked because the Savvy Prospector (which helps agents build a sphere of influence business model from scratch) is pretty intense and he was feeling a little overwhelmed. My initial reaction to the question was "Well, of course I did. I wouldn't tell YOU to do it if I didn't do it! I practice what I preach!"

But... before I fired off that response I paused. And thought about it a few more seconds.

And you know what? No, I didn't "really DO all this stuff when I was selling real estate." At least, not once it started working!

Once I had a docket full of buyers and sellers to serve, my sphere of influence (SOI) activities slowed considerably. I went from lunch-dating twice a week to lunch-dating once a quarter. I stopped going to parties and events if I wasn't in the mood instead of forcing myself to attend in the interest of building my SOI. My personal "how ya' doin'?" phone calls became a thing of the past.

My other prospecting activities pretty much went by the wayside as well. I stopped taking floor time and sitting at (other agents') open houses. I ceased my newspaper and bus bench advertising. I stopped my (admittedly sporadic) mailings to my farm area.

Why did I stop these prospecting activities, some of which had clearly paid off?

Because I was busy taking care of my buyers and sellers. I was managing the moving pieces and parts of multiple real estate transactions in various stages of marketing to contract to closing. I was Doing My Job.

What do you think happened? Did my business crash and burn, leaving me suddenly lonely, broke and desperate for new clients?

Nope. In fact, my business just kept growing. Without any overt prospecting by me, my phone rang, I answered it, and I had a new client. Momentum + happy customers = more momentum and more customers to make happy.


So, back to the Savvy Prospector's question that kicked off this blog. To paraphrase - "Do you really have to maintain a high level of SOI activity throughout your career?"

Probably not. Not that continuing a high level of SOI'ing will hurt your career in any way (unless you're blowing off your buyers and sellers for your SOI lunch-dates and parties), but if you truly don't have time to keep it up because your current clients need you (and you're there for them), you'll be fine.

The thing is - happy customers are by far the best source of future business. Way better, even, than your best friends and supportive family members. Stay in touch with your current and past clients to the extent that they know you're still in business and can find you when needed and you'll get their future business and referrals.

But as you're working toward creating a database full of happy past clients, YES, SOI your heart out! Not only will it help you fill up that database, but it'll also get you in the habit of "doing" SOI as part of your daily routine - to the point where you won't even realize you're doing it!

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Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate


Yes I have often looked at my schedule and business and thought about what I use to do to build my business up and what I do now to maintain it. Just like anything that grows there are different stages of development.  

Nov 16, 2010 12:34 AM #1
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Very good explanation of time.

Nov 16, 2010 01:07 AM #2
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Hey jennifer as always your stuff is a great read and a good idea for us to follow thank you as always

Nov 16, 2010 01:26 AM #3
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Exactly!!  Once you lay down that foundation - as long as it is a firm foundation - the business just comes!  When you take care of your clients, business just flows in, it really does.  Thanks for this blog post, though, because I was beginning to feel guilty for not maintaining my former level of SOI activities! 

Nov 16, 2010 02:33 AM #4
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Jennifer - an entirely different concept from what most preach, thanks for posting and keep it up.

Nov 16, 2010 02:53 AM #5
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

you always have to be changing things a bit as your career grows, but I think there are a lot of us in the RE business that are begining to understand that we do have to go back to the basics that made us successful in the first place if/when business slows down... so while you can (and have to) slow down prospecting as you get busy, you can never stop!

Nov 16, 2010 04:07 AM #6
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Well I downloaded the book.  I always enjoy your post so maybe I will read the book.  Thanks a lot.

Nov 16, 2010 06:49 AM #7
Kelly Cordova-Armer
Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals - Ogden, UT
Selling with Soul amidst the Utah Mountains!

Jennifer - You know I love your style of "selling with soul"... it's like a wave we ride in Real Estate.  When things start to slow down we work on "Systems & Marketing" ...when things pick up I'm working with Clients, when things slow down I'm back to working the systems and marketing.  The wheel never stops turning.

Nov 16, 2010 06:50 AM #8
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

What I found was that every once in awhile, things would slow down to the point where I needed to do a little reconnecting. But it didn't take much, usually. As Susan described, if you have a good foundation of people who think you rock as a real estate agent, it can be a fairly simple matter of doing a little extra SOI'ing until things pick up. After all, in our business, it only takes a few good phone calls to feel crazy busy again.

Nov 16, 2010 06:59 AM #9
EliSabeth McDermot
Andersonville, TN

Always great to read what you have to say!

Nov 16, 2010 08:11 AM #10
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

The game certainly is a balancing act of trying to smooth out the peaks and valleys, isn't it?

Nov 17, 2010 02:15 AM #11
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Congratulations this post is now featured in the Silent Majority Group of Active Rain.


Nov 17, 2010 01:43 PM #12
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate


This is exactly what I have experienced. Busy taking care of clients has led me to ignore the basics. But, whenever I experience a lull in activity, that is my time to reconnect! It works for me.

Nov 24, 2010 12:17 AM #13
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Dec 06, 2011 07:20 PM #14
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